Resolving CD Transports Crowd Sourcing

Hi everyone! A couple of years ago I purchased my endgame CD transport- a Pro-Ject CD Box RS2T. Loved almost everything about the unit--highly resolving presentation, dead quiet background, balanced placement of instruments in a believable 3 dimensional soundstage, and  the synergy it had with my components. In fact I loved the transport so much I had two of them because Pro-Ject quality control and customer service is the pits. After almost a year of hassles, I'm swearing of Pro-Ject.

I'm in the market for a replacement CD transport that has the same qualities of the Pro-Ject minus the quality issues and customer service.

PS Audio, Jay's Audio, CEC, Audio Research (which are CD/DAC units) come up in my search. What are your thoughts? With all the bells and whistles the Pro-Ject was around $3300, so that gives you an idea of my budget, though I could go higher.

Thanks in advance!



Transport search update-Will be auditioning an Audio Research CD6SE this coming weekend


Looking forward to your  listening evaluation thoughts.


For a little perspective, I owned a Sim Moon 760D CD / DAC with the Sim Moon 820 power supply ($18K together) for a number of years. My dealer brought over an Audio Research REF CD9SE without me asking. Holy cow, it is sooo much more natural and musical without loosing detail, it took me all of about 10 seconds to suspect and 30 more seconds to open my iPad and send a message to my audio dealer to order me one… I would have to figure out how to pay for it later… it just completely blew away the Moon for me.

Take a look at the Nuprime CD Transports, I've been very happy with the CDP-9, the best CD playback I've ever had.






I was up late last night, and early today, after adding the ARC CD6SE to my system. I’m impressed. Since I already have ARC (upstream/downstream?) the synergy is what you would expect with the ARC house sound-spacious, dimensional, for the most part organic. I listened to a variety of jazz, classical and rock CDs. Bass is very present, great midrange with extended highs. The CD6SE definitely presents a full and instrumentally defined sound palette. Vocals sound terrific, also.

Since the CD player’s DAC uses Delta Sigma PCM1792 dac chips, I was concerned that the highs and accented music notes would have digital glare, which is something I have encountered in lesser (cheaper) digital equipment. This isn’t noticeable with the CD6SE. I think because of the signal tubes in the ARC linestage, and power/signal tubes in the ARC power amp.

So, how does it compare with the Pro-Ject CD Box RS2T? While not using the same DAC, both units share a 3D palpability and realism. I think the Pro-Ject (sadly RIP) has greater PRAT and transparency, while the CD6SE projects a weightier presentation. But, it’s only a matter of degrees, and for me, both are equally satisfying. Not to get too esoteric with regards to degrees of realism, but here it goes-The Pro-Ject presents music like a Vermeer painting and the CD6SE is closer to John Singer Sargent.

Additionally, something I like about the CD6SE is that it has a terrific on-board DAC. What’s funny in a way is how the plethora of really good DACs have steered me away from onboard DAC/transport players. I am able to run my Aurender music server, via USB, through the DAC without losing any of the resolution and clarity I had with the Musetec MH-DA005 Sabre chip set DAC.